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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Rear Wheel Bearing DIY - Half Shaft Axle Stuck to Hub - What a Pain!!!

I've add more pics of the process!!!

This was Harbor Freights 5 ton hydraulic puller. Don't waste your time. <br>
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326706&d=1249871858">
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326707&d=1249871858">
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I've tried both these on numerous projects and have had limited success with them. I tried a google search and found Acetone and ATF in a 1:1 ratio was far more effective. (http://www.triumphrat.net/classic-vintage-and-veteran/107230-home-brew-of-rust-penetrants.html is one of the sites that cited the magazine who performed the study.)
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326709&d=1249871858">

I zipped tied a ziploc bag to the hub and injected the home-brew penetrant (atf-acetone) using a resin syringe. Let it set for about an hour while I was running around buying miscellaneous tools. This seemed to loosen up the splines ( or perhaps just the plain brute force of the hammer :facepalm::facepalm:)
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326710&d=1249871858">

Used two 2-ft extensions to reach the differential EXTERNAL TORX bolts. I believe it was an E14
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326711&d=1249871858">
Suspended the half-shaft with a bungee cord. May make axle removal easier, but if nothing else will protect it from damage.
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326712&d=1249871858">

Used the slide hammer flange from autozone with a big grade 8 bolt from Broward Bolt. Tightened the lug nuts down until they were flush with the back side of the hub. Tightened down the big bolt until there was some tension between it and the end of the axle. Essentially the flange held the bolt straight and steady while I hammered away. ( I did buy three new lug bolts to replace these, even though no apparent damage was visible.)

<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326713&d=1249871858">

Perhaps my best friend when it came time for axle removal.
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326714&d=1249871858">

<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326715&d=1249871858">

Once the axle is removed, slide hammer replaced the big bolt. Lug nuts tightened down all the way now. A few persistent whacks and she's off!
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326716&d=1249871858">
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326717&d=1249871858">
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326718&d=1249871937">
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326719&d=1249871937">

With the hub off now, the inner outboard race had to come off. Harbor freight had an inexpensive bearing puller. I clamped it down on the bearing where there was a groove to attach to.
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326720&d=1249871937">

This is the rear arm with the bearing removed.
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326721&d=1249871937">

This is the old bearing as it came out with the bearing removal tool from Harbor Freight ($80 plus another couple bucks for nuts, as the head of the bolt that came with the set was only Welded together and painted, and of course I was able to break it off). Whatever you decide to use for a tool on this project, make sure it is capable of enduring brute force. I started off thinking I could rig something out of PVC, was I wrong.
<img src="http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=326722&d=1249871937">

I tried using a 1:1 mixture of acetone and ATF fluid as a penetrant as neither PB Blaster nor Buster worked in releasing the half-shaft. It seems to have worked pretty well. According to some "Scientific" test, ATF-Acetone worked the best at releasing stubborn bolts (Try doing a google for it).

The only way I was successful at removing the half-shaft axle from the wheel hub was using the slide hammer flange as a stabilizer for the big bolt (hammering point) purchased from Broward Bolt ($16 :banghead:) . Tightened the lug bolts until they were flush with the back of the hub. Tightened the big bolt so that there was some tension. Then gave a few whacks with the 8lbs sledgehammer. Tightened the big bolt some more and whacked it continuously until the axle backed out.

Wheel bearing tool is must for this task, as I tried rigging up some pvc bearing extractors and ended up laughing at my self.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The nut is plenty loose. It's there to stop the hub or axle from flying off and to protect the threads of the axle. I also took it off just to make sure and it's still stuck there. Cooling it now with dry ice in denatured alcohol. It's pretty cold now, going to hit it with the mapp torch next unless I get a better idea.

Thanks for the reply!
 

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is the back part off the differential? no matter how hard you hit it, its not going to come out cause itll compress to limit and then stop.use a pry bar, remove rear axel from the back, and then try hitting it again. GL and just go ahead and take that nut completely off. what is the point of having it on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nut is off now and still no luck. The axle is disconnected from the differential output flange and laying pretty low resting on the sway bar which I partially disconnected and rotated down. The muffler has also been removed. I tried freezing it with dry ice in ethanol which is -72 degrees Fahrenheit. Hitting it with a MAP torch next while still applying the pressure of the 5-ton gear puller. If only the 12-ton hydraulic puller was in stock.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tried the slide hammer from autozone attached to the hub and added 10lbs of bench press plates and slammed the heck out of it. Didn't seem to budge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm up to 20 lbs of bench press weight plus the 2lbs weight it came with. :facepalm: My buddy and I are alternating turns slamming the slide hammer. Still no luck. :banghead:
 

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dammit man, idk, your heating the hub and cooling the axle right? Part of the wheel bearing will come off with the hub so most of the resistance should be with the axle and hub. At the dealer we have a "pusher" kind of like what your using except that it is threaded. GL
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As you can see from the photos, we are giving it all we got. The last bullet in our arsenal is a 7 ton crank puller from Sears. We plan to hit it on its head once torqued down. Problem is that it is a two pronged one since Sears did not have a 3 pronged one. Don't know how stable it will be when hit. Will keep all of you who have helped posted. Am getting to hate this project. :thanks:
 

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I see you have compressed air. With the axle lose from the diff, try using air hammer on the axle to push it out? (seen it before, but needs to be a nice air hammer no walmart deal):dunno:
 

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not sure if the stuff you are messing with is gonna be any good when it comes out after all this mess. i mean there is probably a **** ton of force being applied and its not working. that's insane. i would just keep at it with a hammer. it seems like it would be the best viable solution. kinda like impact gun over breaker bar you know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I thought about the air hammer, but it is indeed a piece of garbage. I will give it a try just in case. I have tried tapping with a 4lbs engineer's hammer at 3, 6,9, and 12 o'clock on the hub and also smacked it like crazy with a rubber mallet. I guess I'm going to resort to lots of heat along with the puller, or perhaps look into a bigger 12 ton hydraulic puller. How much different is using a 12 ton puller compared to having a machine shop pressing it out with a hydraulic press (other than amount of force)? It's just a matter of applying enough pressure to the axle to push it out.
 

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I once had to beat on a fwd Volvo one with my slide hammer for like 30 minutes. Every BMW I've done has popped out in less than 5 minutes of constant hammering.

This Volvo front was completely stuck; but after hammering on it till my arms wanted to fall off it finally let go. Keep at it with the slide hammer and it should finally break the rust/corrosion that is helping hold it in there.
 
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